John Garfield

John Garfield (born Jacob Julius Garfinkle; 4th March 1913 – 21st May 1952) was an American actor known for portraying brooding, rebellious, working-class characters. Raised in poverty in New York City, he joined the Group Theatre in the early 1930s. In 1937, he relocated to Hollywood and rose to prominence as one of Warner Bros.’ stars. Garfield earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in Four Daughters (1938) and Body and Soul (1947).

Summoned to testify before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), he refuted communist affiliations and declined to “name names”, effectively halting his film career. Some speculate that the strain of this persecution contributed to his premature death at 39 from a heart attack. Garfield is recognised as a precursor to Method actors such as Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and James Dean.

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